Mkulima, today the entire globe is affected by the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. And this is how I beat the COVID 19 virus – Pro Hamadi Boga
Different people have lost their jobs while several others are forced to take pay cuts of up to 50% from their monthly salaries.
High ranking individuals have not been safe either. The list is long from the Prime Minister of Britain and other ministers and right here at home public figures like Jeff Konange, former MP Margeret Wanjiru and Robert Burale are among those who have survived.
In this article, we talk about how the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of agriculture beat the naval coronavirus.
History and how I beat the COVID 19
How I beat the COVID 19 virus Prof. Hamadi Iddi Boga is the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Agricultural Research in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries. He is also a senior Senior Microbiologist or Microbial ecologist.
He is the former founding Principal of Taita Taveta University and was its Vice-Chancellor between 2007 and 2017.
Before he was a Professor in the Department of Botany at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
His skills and interests are in biology, agricultural science, sequencing, microbiology, molecular biological techniques, and RNA genes.
He also has an interest in the microbial ecology of insects’ guts, soils, and soda lakes and has worked with termites, the soda lakes of Kenya, mangrove swamps, agricultural and forest soils, and also on Mount Kenya glacier. He has a Ph.D. in Biology from Universität Konstanz in Germany.
The musings of a COVID tested scientist
How I beat the COVID 19 virus and the musings of a COVID 19 positive scientist.
Dear family, friends, neighbors, and fellow Kenyans.
Here I am, still alive. I am doing ok to a great extent.
I have finished self-isolation of 32 days since I showed signs of COVID 19. I retested for COVID 19 recently and I thank God it came back negative.
The test procedures look scarier than it really feels. Most people will cringe at the thought of having the test done.
For me, the nose swab was easier than the throat swab. The technician who took my swab said that the throat swab is the riskier one even for the person swabbing.
This is because one can easily puke.
Here are my lessons and observations out of this COVID experience.
This is part of my journey to how I beat the COVID 19 coronavirus.
- It began with serious chills that go all the way to the bone marrow. I know it was July but that is not what I am talking about. These chills were abnormal, way way more than the normal July experience.
- Then I had aches all over especially muscles,
- I had a persistent cough and tightness or numbness around the chest.
- Nausea and intense urge to puke
- I never experienced any headaches and high temperature as explained by the ministry of health
- Then I lost my sense of smell for all scents
- My taste buds were also not left behind since I could not taste anything
- Abdominal pains were there on and off
- My eyesight became blurry
- I felt sleepy and slept most of the time only to be woken up from slumber with the coughs
- My voice became hoarse
- I lost breath even for activities like online zoom meeting
After four days the thought of going for the COVID 19 test crossed my mind.
I called my physician and picked up a letter of referral to go to the tents at Nairobi hospital.
At the hospital, sampling took five minutes while the administrative process of paying the test fee of Kshs 10,000 took up to two hours.
Something just never seemed to work between my insurance company and the Nairobi hospital billing systems.
As a scientist, my mind wanders and one of my questions was how I beat the COVID 19 or how to beat it.
And I asked myself why should a simple PCR test cost kshs 10,000?
You see the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test is an old technology that has been there since 1982.
This is the same year when Harry Mullis won the Nobel peace prize in chemistry for inventing the PCR test.
I strongly believe the medics and laboratories have found a way to make us their cash cow as a result of ignorance, fear, and desperation.
Due to the high cost of doing the test, I believe testing will be the limiting factor in our fight against the pandemic.
When I told my wife that I had gone for the test she was so scared that the men and women dressed in PPEs would come and take the family away.
How could I do that?
I replied that it is a good move since we would know the reality and start early treatment in case we had been exposed.
There is a lot of fear out here in the country for the testing of COVID 19.
If we do not address the fear component most people will keep on hiding and affecting others.
Most people who have symptoms will just avoid the hospitals, hoping to wear things out.
While others choose to go into hiding hoping to soldier it out.
This disease can make you die in hiding if it causes an acute infection and you are not one of those lucky asymptomatic victims.
After the test
After waiting for a period of 48 hours the results were out and they came via a phone call.
You are COVID 19 positive, self isolate for 14 days.
Separate yourself from your family and let the family come for testing tomorrow.
They thought I was being weird. Then they told me for any questions I should call them.
I was sure the lady on the phone was doing her best. And this is how I beat the COVID 19
But she was not sure what to tell me or what to do after announcing the positive results.
I called my physician for more details and clarification.
Throughout the isolation, we kept in contact and sorted out any issues or questions.
Luckily all my family members were all negative.
Immediately I started falling sick I instructed them to keep some distance away from me and I started wearing a mask around the house.
They all thought I was being weird until the verdict was reached. They were there to take care of me as I self-isolated. Thank God Almighty for that.
The decision to check into an isolation center
So I began the journey of self-isolation.
Through days one to five I am struggling with coughing and the desire to vomit.
I also feel giddy when prostrating in prayers, I asked my physician to check me in into one of the centers since I was worried about oxygen levels.
it was also not clear for me in case things go serious how I would get myself around at night with the curfew.
I was sure if an ambulance showed up at my apartment, chaos would break loose.
My neighbors would probably shout Boga must go. I feared.
For this reason I decided to use a private means to get to the isolation center.
I am not sure how the average household gets themselves to these facilities in case the going gets tough.
I checked into an isolation center
My blood pressure was high maybe due to the anxiety I had.
The body oxygen levels were manageable at 94% and the iconic cough was pressing on.
During the tests, I had a low-grade fever.
In the process of all this, I learned with trepidation that my insurance or any other insurance for that matter does not cover COVID 19 isolation.
So I had to pay a deposit of the sum Kshs 100,000 for admission which I did hurriedly via the globally successful mpesa.
When push comes to shove you don’t think twice about such earthly things.
Survival becomes the primary goal.
After 48 hours at the isolation center
- Regular sips of dawa (ginger, lemon, and honey)
- paracetamol every eight hours
- cough syrup (bro zedex) every eight hours
- Glemont L (antihistamine tablet) every 24 hours
- Vitamin C tablet 100mg every 24 hours
This is all I was given at the isolation center.
it was not for the treatment of COVID 19 but for the management of the symptoms situation and the virus.
I get amazed at this the actual management is cheap when the symptoms are mild.
That is why for the most part the management can be done at home.
Most of the items can be bought over the counter at a minimal cost.
I realize that the testing and ceremonies around isolation, PPEs, and quarantine is what will hamper our ability to control this beast.
Check out was after two days so as to continue with home quarantine and took my medication with me.
All was going well during this period. My voice had improved, I was more energetic and greeted people with vigor.
There is light after darkness.
Lessons learned and opportunities to win the war.
During the process, I learned some lessons and did some reflections.
- The beast is now in our communities
- Testing should be done for those in distress and positive signs confirmed.
- Public education on self-isolation and support
its been over 32 days and it was about time I got back to the office.
So I talked myself into venturing into the office.
Some symptoms still linger but they are manageable. At times my throat dries up and my voice gets hoars again.
At this moment I break a sweat thinking thee beast is back or is it my imagination playing tricks on me.
I tested negative on the 26 of July 2020. As I venture out I know I have to be more cautious to avoid re-infection.
With that in mind, I have fewer physical meetings, sanitize properly, avoid touching my face, and wear masks properly as well as those around me.
Please do the same so you can protect yourself, your family, and community.
The cheese has moved. Let us adapt.let us all pray to God to protect us.
Read the original story here
Credits/Source Prof Hamadi Iddi Boga, PS Ministry of Agriculture.Kenya
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